August 15, 2023, marks a grim two-year anniversary: that of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. Adela Raz, director of SPIA’s Afghanistan Policy Lab, marks the anniversary below.
The Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 marked one of the most agonizing moments of the 21st century for Afghan women and girls. Upon their return to power, the Taliban started the suppression of women's rights. Their actions have escalated in hostility, targeting the systematic erasure of women and girls from all facets of life. This encompasses the prohibition of girls' education and the enforced closure of public and private spaces essential for women's work and socialization.
Despite these oppressive measures, Afghan women continue to exhibit remarkable courage as they stand up against the repressive Taliban regime. Through organized protests and marches, they strive to demand their rights and assert their freedom. In response, the Taliban frequently resort to arresting, detaining, harassing, and even torturing these courageous women. Nonetheless, the women's unwavering determination remains unshaken.
Over the past two years, Afghan women have steadfastly fought for their rights under a regime that perpetuates gender apartheid. Their resolute pursuit of dignity and equality stands poised to become a pivotal lesson for future generations navigating their own battles for justice.
In solidarity with the resilience demonstrated by Afghan women and to firmly denounce the gender apartheid enforced by the Taliban, the Afghanistan Policy Lab at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, in collaboration with Counterpart International, is convening a high-level panel discussion Tuesday, August 15, at 4 p.m. Eastern. Esteemed scholars and practitioners will critically dissect the concept of gender apartheid within the context of the Taliban's actions, while considering the framework of international laws. This panel discussion is the culmination of a day-long seminar on the same topic, which also features Afghan women leaders in exile exploring pathways forward.
SPIA Reacts is an ongoing series of faculty members’ and researchers’ analyses of current events. The views they express are their own.